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Article: Feeding habits and natural diet of the intertidal crab Pachygrapsus marmoratus: Opportunistic browser or selective feeder?

TitleFeeding habits and natural diet of the intertidal crab Pachygrapsus marmoratus: Opportunistic browser or selective feeder?
Authors
KeywordsRocky shores
Mediterranean area
Feeding preference
Diet analysis
Algae browsing
Selective feeding
Pachygrapsus marmoratus
Issue Date2002
Citation
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 2002, v. 54, n. 6, p. 983-1001 How to Cite?
AbstractThe aim of this study was to identify the feeding habits of the European intertidal crab Pachygrapsus marmoratus. Since this species is widely distributed in southern Europe, four south-western European sites far apart from each other were selected: southern Portugal, central Portugal, central Tyrrhenian coast, Italy, and northern Adriatic coast, Istria. In summer, crabs were collected and the contents of their stomachs were assessed in the laboratory. In parallel, at each collection site the relative abundance of algae species and of sessile and slow-moving animals was assessed for comparison with the relative frequency of the same items in the P. marmoratus diet. The detailed analysis of its feeding habits showed that this species is omnivorous but that it cannot simply be considered an opportunistic feeder. In all populations, algal and animal diet components were almost equally abundant; thus these crabs actively regulate their feeding to cope with the dietary needs of their fast-moving, semi-terrestrial life-style. Descriptive and quantitative analyses showed that P. marmoratus has definite preferences for animal prey and algae. Limpets and mussels proved to be the commonest prey, followed by conspecific crabs. The highly preferred plant item was filamentous algae, although corticated macroalgae and articulated calcareous algae were also common in the diet. Cyanobacteria were preferred only at the Atlantic sites and crustose algae were represented only by Ralfsia sp., a species with high protein and lipid contents. Both univariate and multivariate statistical methods confirmed that the different populations of P. marmoratus were minimally influenced by the relative abundance of the food items within their environment and their diet composition was constant throughout the sampled area. In conclusion, the relative abundance of different ingested foods can best be explained by considering the diet of P. marmoratus to be related mainly to its population structure and, for some food items, to the feeding physiology of the crab itself. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/219363
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 2.335
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.094

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorCannicci, S.-
dc.contributor.authorGomei, M.-
dc.contributor.authorBoddi, B.-
dc.contributor.authorVannini, M.-
dc.date.accessioned2015-09-23T02:56:53Z-
dc.date.available2015-09-23T02:56:53Z-
dc.date.issued2002-
dc.identifier.citationEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 2002, v. 54, n. 6, p. 983-1001-
dc.identifier.issn0272-7714-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/219363-
dc.description.abstractThe aim of this study was to identify the feeding habits of the European intertidal crab Pachygrapsus marmoratus. Since this species is widely distributed in southern Europe, four south-western European sites far apart from each other were selected: southern Portugal, central Portugal, central Tyrrhenian coast, Italy, and northern Adriatic coast, Istria. In summer, crabs were collected and the contents of their stomachs were assessed in the laboratory. In parallel, at each collection site the relative abundance of algae species and of sessile and slow-moving animals was assessed for comparison with the relative frequency of the same items in the P. marmoratus diet. The detailed analysis of its feeding habits showed that this species is omnivorous but that it cannot simply be considered an opportunistic feeder. In all populations, algal and animal diet components were almost equally abundant; thus these crabs actively regulate their feeding to cope with the dietary needs of their fast-moving, semi-terrestrial life-style. Descriptive and quantitative analyses showed that P. marmoratus has definite preferences for animal prey and algae. Limpets and mussels proved to be the commonest prey, followed by conspecific crabs. The highly preferred plant item was filamentous algae, although corticated macroalgae and articulated calcareous algae were also common in the diet. Cyanobacteria were preferred only at the Atlantic sites and crustose algae were represented only by Ralfsia sp., a species with high protein and lipid contents. Both univariate and multivariate statistical methods confirmed that the different populations of P. marmoratus were minimally influenced by the relative abundance of the food items within their environment and their diet composition was constant throughout the sampled area. In conclusion, the relative abundance of different ingested foods can best be explained by considering the diet of P. marmoratus to be related mainly to its population structure and, for some food items, to the feeding physiology of the crab itself. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science-
dc.subjectRocky shores-
dc.subjectMediterranean area-
dc.subjectFeeding preference-
dc.subjectDiet analysis-
dc.subjectAlgae browsing-
dc.subjectSelective feeding-
dc.subjectPachygrapsus marmoratus-
dc.titleFeeding habits and natural diet of the intertidal crab Pachygrapsus marmoratus: Opportunistic browser or selective feeder?-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.description.natureLink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1006/ecss.2001.0869-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-0036626950-
dc.identifier.volume54-
dc.identifier.issue6-
dc.identifier.spage983-
dc.identifier.epage1001-

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